Social Inclusion - inspiring trends in European funded projects
In October 2017, Anca attended a cluster meeting on social inclusion. In total, 132 representatives from social inclusion projects from 3 programmes managed by EACEA: Erasmus+ Creative Europe and Europe for Citizens attended the meeting.
Following the meeting, a report has been published highlighting the main discussions and ideas that emerged during the event focusing on four key areas:
- Intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding
- Giving voice and taking an active part in society
- Educators, workers, professionals, coaches, volunteers
- Solidarity in times of crisis
You can read the full report here: https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/erasmus-plus/news/publication-thematic-cluste…A
European mobility for all - A step by step guide on accessibility in EU exchange programs
The French Erasmus+ National Agency and the Erasmus+ National Agency for the Belgian French-speaking community have produced a guide titled ‘Beyond disabilities – European mobility for all!’
This guide should act as a practical resource for organisations interested in European mobility activities involving young people with disabilities.
Sharing practices about youth projects for people with fewer opportunities within Erasmus +” between French and Belgian French speaking partner associations; this seminar held in Paris between 11 till 13th of April, aimed to create a practical guide for other associations in Europe about possible challenges and how to overcome them.
The guide would like to gather practical experiences, both positive and negative, from different associations and different target publics with fewer opportunities and thus make things easier for future beneficiaries of an Erasmus + grant. The seminar was organised by
French National Agency (Agence Erasmus+ France Jeunesse & Sport ) and French speaking National Agency (Bureau International Jeunesse).
The guide will be ready this fall and of course we’ll let you know how you can find it and benefit from it.
From the 23rd of July to the 1st of August, the youth hostel De Blauwput and the Electro-technical Department of KU Leuven (ESAT) were invaded by a swarm of youngsters from different cultures, languages and backgrounds. A very pleasant invasion, though: 63 visually impaired young people ( between 16 and 21 years old) and about 45 staff members, from 13 European Countries and Japan!
Almost every morning, people were transferred to ESAT, where workshops took place until 5 PM. Though the building was pretty complicated (countless corridors, flights of stairs and doors), tactile maps and talking clay animals and gnomes made the navigation much easier: roosters would warn you when you were at the stairs, and whistling gnomes would greet you when you got to the toilet’ doors. Some of them didn’t make it to the end of the camp, that’s true, but they served their purpose amazingly and will be remembered with great respect. Someone else (a real human this time) who deserves the greatest respect is professor Jan Engelen: it was thanks to his unwavering support of ICC Belgium’s cause that workshops could be held in this prestigious building.
Participants could choose from a wide range of subjects: browsing the Web, using a MacBook, cooking, writing a powerful CV, accessible Maths, self-defense, first-aid in case of fire… and so much more. Though the schedule was quite busy, at the end of the workshop day everyone got back on the bus with a lot of enthusiasm and new acquired knowledge.
Leisure activities, too, were a great source of enjoyment for participants: ranging from archery to wine tasting, from blind football to karaoke, they definitely enabled people to get closer to each other and to discover hobbies they had never thought about. For example, numerous amazing singers and players were found during the karaoke and jam sessions, and many people fell in love with the Shiatsu massage.
Whether they stayed there after dinner, or got back there after leisure activities, people had a great time at the youth hostel: the 3-storey building was very easy to navigate (also thanks to the Braille labels added to every door), the atmosphere cosy and teeming with laughter, joy and multiculturalism. The bar, which stayed open until 1 AM, was always full (after all, everyone had to try Belgian beer!) and the terrace was very popular, not only for the smokers.
The excursion day in Brussels, which took place halfway through the camp, was a great opportunity for everybody to do something different and have a closer look to the capital of the European Union. And it was to the European Parliament, one of the main engines of our politics, that the morning was dedicated: a very young and inspiring British MEP, Judy Kirton-Darling, answered participants’ questions with liveliness and sagacity, and the visit ended with a group picture in the plenary chamber. The afternoon’s leisure activities, which ranged from walking tours to different museums, were also welcomed with enthusiasm, not to mention the evening barbecue!
Another highlight of the camp was definitely the “Window to the World”, when ICC opened its doors to the outside world: sponsors, journalists, blind-related stakeholders, etc. Two very special guests, MEP Helga Stevens and KU leuven’s Vice-Chancellor Katlijn Malfliet, addressed the morning assembly, and the day continued with other surprises: guests got the chance to attend an awareness-raising session about blindness and to visit workshops. The one about echolocation, in particular, conducted by Thomas Tajo,, was an endless source of enthusiasm and wonder for all those present. Many thanks to Thomas for agreeing to come to Leuven! Another word of thanks goes to the Legioen Film crew, which filmed for the whole day, not only in ESAT but also at the Blauwput and in other locations, to capture a glimpse of some of the leisure activities.
The farewell dinner, held at the Provinciehuis, was the perfect ending to 10 unforgettable days: inspiring speeches, nice performances and great enthusiasm for the future. For those who didn’t go back to the hostel, the evening continued at Cafè Sport, where people danced to the deejay set of Anthony Reyers, member of ICC Belgium.
ICC 2017 was a dream come true. The dream of former visually impaired participants, who loved their experience so much that they wanted to set up their own delegation, and bring the camp to Belgium. Their enthusiasm was so contagious, that many others embraced the cause. Some of them are also part of ICC Belgium today, and have contributed to the success of the camp. Others, like the Lion CLUb, have supported ICC Belgium financially throughout the years: without their extremely generous support, ICC 2017 would not have been possible. Others, inspired by the cause, decided to become volunteers: they guided participants through the maze of corridors in ESAT, helped with leisure activities and were always ready at hand at the Blauwput. Their enthusiasm and commitment undoubtedly contributed to the success of the camp.